Thursday, December 31, 2009
We have many batches of gingerbread pancakes for breakfast. Aidan has been my little helper in the kitchen. He has started putting the batter onto the griddle and has even flipped a few pancakes himself. He was a huge help in the kitchen when I baked all of the pieces for our gingerbread houses too and had a blast cutting various shapes (mostly men, though) out of the cookie dough.
The Daddy went to his annual conference that was held in Phoenix this year. When the Daddy is away, the rest of us will play (or else, we'll come up with a bunch of activities to keep us otherwise occupied!). We baked cookies, made gingerbread houses, went to the museum, made crafts with friends, watched Christmas movies, found out that our Polar Express DVD is MIA, and went to the park. That week was definitely busy, but we did have a lot of fun!
We have enjoyed being able to purchase fresh citrus from a local grove (that is maybe 3-5 minutes from our house!). The tangelos and navel oranges have been my favorites so far this season, and the prices are SO cheap! We just picked up an 18lb. bag of navel oranges for under $7! When our friends came down from Raleigh to spend Christmas with us, we took them over there. The kids hadn't seen oranges growing on trees before and thought that they were really pretty. They all enjoyed watching the orange juice machine squeeze the oranges and spit out the rinds at the grove store too!
I did a LOT of Christmas crafting this year. Next year, I need to remember to start making gifts for others earlier in the year. This past year, I began at the end of September...I just finished making the last gifts a couple of days ago...oops! The felt bird ornament is one that I made for my friend Stephanie. I finished those the day before she and the kids arrived.--phew! That was cutting it close!
Rob, the boys and I went to a student matinee showing of The Nutcracker ballet. The boys did really well and seemed to enjoy it. David got irritated with me when I forgot the names of the songs toward the end though. I promised him that I'll re-learn them so that I can tell him next time! I picked up a new wooden nutcracker for each of the boys that we gave them after the ballet to commemorate their first time going. The new nutcrackers have joined forces with the others in my collection. Aidan often lines them up in battle formations, in height order or however else he deems necessary when he feels the need to play with them. :) My little snowman nutcracker has often been left out because it doesn't look like the rest (sometimes he hides it behind the tallest nutcracker in my collection--it's quite hilarious!).
The week of Christmas, when we took our kids and the Howard kids to the park, we found Aidan making mulch-angels. Tessa and the others joined in on the fun too. I guess that when you don't get snow to play in, kids will find other ways to have their favorite winter fun! We also went down to Hidalgo for the Festival of Lights and had fun riding on the trolley through the town seeing the many beautiful light displays. It definitely helped put us more in the Christmas spirit. Steph, the kids and I went to IMAS, the children's museum, to play for an afternoon. The kids all had fun creating artwork out of felt, playing in the sand and water in the science lab, they got to hold Fancy Pants the tortoise and played for ages in the discovery zone with the water cycle play area. We all had a great time!
Rob took the kids swimming in our pool the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Only a few of the kids were actually brave enough to get in and swim in the cooler water, but they did have fun (and all talked about how funny it was getting to swim outdoors on Christmas Eve!). That evening, we went to our church for the Christmas Eve service--the music was done mariachi style and it was so awesome. The boys got to take communion for the first time--it was really special for Rob and I. Aidan had accepted Jesus into his heart on the 20th, so that has really been the best news of the entire month! :)
This past month has been really busy, but definitely full of blessing.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Photos taken October 2009 at Camp Perry.
Seek for the beauty in your everyday. This is something that has been a bit of a challenge for me since moving to the RGV. I tell myself, "It's not pretty down here--it's so flat!" I miss the rolling Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge aflame in their fall glory (or truthfully, I miss them in any season). I miss the green. I miss fall--the smells and colors. I miss the newness of spring and the rebirth of flowers and the new life seen in fields I pass by. I miss the Willamette Valley and the Pacific Ocean. It's easy to see beauty in those areas. One is continually surrounded by it. Down here, it is not as easy to see it, but it is there, none-the-less.
There is beauty in the vivid colors of the kiskadees and the parrots I have seen flying by outside. There is beauty in the sunsets in the vast Texas sky. There is beauty seen in the butterflies, fluttering from flower to flower. The orange, grapefruit and lemons all turning their various hues in the local groves have their own special beauty (and the fresh squeezed lemonade I made last week was amazing too!). Even the cacti and the native mesquite trees have their own beauty. The beauty I'm finding isn't what I'm used to, but it is waiting for me to seek it out. It's a constant reminder of how varied God's creation is, and how amazing He is.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Hi! My name is Ruby, the ruby-throated hummingbird. I live in
Right now, the month is October. It is time for me to migrate to the
My first stop on my journey is
I am excited to be at my winter home, and am also glad that I made it safely. I may be tired from all the flying, but there is good food to eat down here and the weather is warm. I think I will enjoy it down here. Maybe I will get to relax for once, or at least until I have to migrate north next spring.
Monday, October 19, 2009
While David may be dead on with lyrics to songs to the point where he gets really irritated whenever someone mixes up the words to the lyrics (um, namely Daddy), Aidan has a little more trouble. For instance, the boys started singing Days of Elijah during children's church a little over a month ago. Both of them LOVE this song and will belt it out at random (Aidan does most of the belting, mind you--for a little guy, he's got quite the set of pipes). One day when they were singing this and got to the "There's no God like Jehovah..." Aidan's version sounded a little more like: "There's no god like Sebulba." I'm thinking, how in the world did a Star Wars character from episode 1 make its way into this song? This was bordering a little bit on obsession (there's already LOTS of Star Wars talk and play going on here, do we really have to sing about it too?). Then, the next go-round it was: "There's no god like Je-boh-ba." David got a little irritated with this and told him (very loudly and matter-of-factly in his best bossy big brother tone of voice), "NO Aidan, it's JEHOVAH!" Well, after a few times of David's not exactly kind corrections and Rob's and my kinder attempts, he finally sings it correctly. And, if you're standing in their auditorium during children's church, you can pick out my adorable blue-eyed boy's voice singing that part at the top of his lungs, and it makes his mama and his daddy smile.
Another song Aidan has had mix-ups with is a song called Take it All. For the longest time, Rob and I couldn't figure out what he was trying to sing since it came out as: "Tippy Wong" or "Tippy Wall." David finally had to translate for us, and again instructed his little brother on the correct wording of the song (oh, D is so much his mother's son).
Thinking about Aidan's recent song lyric mix-ups made me think of some others. If I'm going to expose his stories, I guess that I'm going to have to expose my own. Unfortunately, I do not have the excuse of being 5 to hide behind since I was in high school when my song lyric faux pas was brought to light. Mom, Dustin and I were listening to the oldies station one day in the car when Secret Agent Man came on. When the chorus came on, my mom and brother started laughing when they heard me singing it as "Secret Asian Man." I tried to explain that it wasn't any different than Dustin's mistaking the words "A set time has come" for "Set down a skunk," but they weren't buying that explanation. I guess that family jokes have to start somewhere, right? But, rest assured that I'll never mess up on the chorus of that song again. ;)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Our finished pumpkins--David wanted to show our VT Hokie pride. :) Since Aidan wasn't able to use the ghost design out of our carving book (we forgot to take tape to the park with us), he opted for a nice smiling jack-o-lantern with triangle eyes.
David helped me carve Aidan's pumpkin while Aidan was playing on the merry-go-round with a new friend he made at the park. The bottom photo is where Aidan is posing with his pumpkin after he helped me to design the face.
Bobbing for apples--Daddy was so proud of David for doing it properly and getting quite wet in the process AND don't forget gutting the pumpkin. David was a little grossed out over the feel of the seeds and stringy pulp (just look at his face!). He was better about it after Daddy told him that he was gutting the pumpkin--it became a game after that!
Rob taking the top off the pumpkin so we could take out the pumpkin guts and David was getting the carving tools out. The boys with their pumpkins by the front door after we got home from the park.
It may be hot down in these parts and not feel like fall, but we sure had fun at the Cub Scouts outing getting messy (some getting wet). We also enjoyed getting to meet other people who are on this scouting adventure alongside us.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Another thing on the needles is a hat for my brother made from the same ultra alpaca fiber I made his "Scarf Askew" from last fall. Once I had cast onto both projects, I had to laugh because there is a lot of cable work done for each--something I didn't notice when I picked out the patterns. Thank goodness that I really enjoy knitting cables. :) I have a couple of knitting patterns in my favorites list on Ravelry for mittens that I could make for Dustin too. Hmmm...I might have to see if I can find any more of his yarn online since I more than likely won't have enough left after finishing the hat. Oh, decisions, decisions.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
We would need 12 apples so we could make an apple pie. Then we would need to listen to instructions so we can make an apple pie.
We would need flour and ice cream (to make it white). If we had most of the right things, we could make it. (I tried to ask him what else we'd need - he said, "It's in the 'structions, Mama."). We could shop at H.E.B. and Walmart to get the things we need.
We would have to bake our pie in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours. The pie will taste good and it will be cold because it will have a lot of ice cream in it.
Truly, I'm quite surprised that he didn't say that we needed to travel the world to find the ingredients like the girl in the story. ;)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Since moving to TX, we have spent hours splashing and swimming in our swimming pool. We have dreamed and talked about things we'd like to improve in the house once it is ours (a new toilet in the master bathroom that actually flushes the first time would be nice). We've cleaned, seen lizards, explored our community a bit (had to find the grocery store and other essentials, of course!). We've played and I've done a LOT of baking too! Rob started teaching today. The boys and I started our new homeschool year last week, and we have finally found a church to call "home" in the valley. David has lost 2 teeth since moving here. Aidan has had a couple of "shiners" from his rough play. There are still things to do (um, like getting the car registered in TX and getting our TX drivers' licenses, oh, and signing on our house tomorrow too!!!). There are still things to dream and plan about, but it is nice having that feeling of being settled in and feeling a new sense of home.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
- Presents - lots of LEGOS for the little builder. Star Wars and pirates (or anything "adventure" preferred).
- Birthday banners made by Mama: 1 fabric, 1 out of her scrapbooking/stamping stash.
- A birthday crown for the birthday boy - the robot is a must-have. The red 'D' makes it even better.
- Izze soda, homemade pizza and Star Wars Clone Wars napkins--need we say more?
- Special friends and family to celebrate the special day with.
- 1 super-excited birthday boy.
- A trip to the local bowling alley for some afternoon fun.
- Homemade donuts for breakfast and homemade mac-n-cheese (the birthday boy's favorite) for dinner.
The cake will come a little bit later, as will a few photos from our afternoon bowling excursion. :) All in all, the birthday boy would say that his day has been pretty fine and dandy.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I've nearly completed all of the preparations for his birthday (decor, gift wrapping, etc.). There is a birthday pennant banner that I just constructed from my scrapbooking/stamping stash--honey, I do use that stuff! :) that needs to be hung up. Birthday cake needs to be made, but at least it's starting to look a bit festive around here.
However, at the same time, I feel a little bit of envy toward my friends who are making all sorts of fun Valentine's day plans. The hearts, scavenger hunts, heart-shape pancakes (we'll be having homemade donuts though), special themed-lunches, decorating in the pink, white & red with hearts everywhere...sigh. There is a part of me who really misses getting to do that, but I guess that one major plus to choosing to celebrate David's birthday on his birth-date is that we don't have to fight the crowds when Rob and I go on our "Valentine's day" date. :) And, I do sit and remember that 'D' is my best Valentine's day present ever--a fact that he will freely tell anyone when they comment that his birthday is on this particular holiday.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Saturday truly was a beautiful day for hiking and I'm glad that we ventured out to enjoy God's beautiful creation. Plus, it was about the only chance we've had in awhile to see any sort of snow or ice. :)